Expert Says Bethel Robbery Could be Product of Organized Crime
This past Thursday (May 27) a new local video was posted to Youtube by Buffalo Biodiesel, a company that collects fry oil or grease from restaurants, grocery stores and delis and converts the oil into fuel. The company shared the video (view it above) in an effort to identify a man they say stole fry oil from Famous Pizza in Bethel, CT.
When we heard the news, we published an article about the incident and were contacted soon after by a man named Sumit Majumdar. Sumit is the owner of Buffalo Biodiesel who says the Bethel incident is in no way an isolated incident.
Sumit wanted me to know that this is part of a growing problem in America. He believes that fry oil theft can be traced to organized crime networks. Majumdar told us he following:
"First of all, you have to be a bad person to steal. I mean, you know I can't solicit employees and put them on payroll and say by the way here's some wire cutters and bolt cutters go and steal from someone.
So, you have to, you have to bring in people that are already willing to steal or to burglarize equipment, so those are bad hombres.
Then, what ends up happening is, our business is very different from let's say a pawn shop business or a scrap metal business. You know, you can go and steal a wristwatch from someone and you know, sell it at a bar or go to any jewelry store or pawn shop and they'll buy it from you.
Grease is very different. You require someone to refine it, then it's gotta get to a production facility and then turn into bio-fuels.
So, you've got to have a party that will accept it and then they're going to clean it, paper the product up that way it can get through distribution, then they've got to have processing and then after the processing they've got to have manufacturing.
Of course, manufacturers aren't going to touch anything, that doesn't have the proper paperwork to go with it.
So, it's very complicated, it's very organized, um and then what you find is some of the people that have been arrested, they've got a background, in many cases of drug dealing, you know, there's not simple petty criminals in many cases, some of them are, but some of them aren't.
So, those are the bad hombres I'm talking about.
And the money is big, so for one of the arrests that we had, you've got a guy operating in a van, which is very similar to the one that you saw at Famous Pizza. And, they are selling the material, with cash receipts, for about $2.84 a gallon.
So, to make a long story short, one guy in a van, this person in particular, not at Famous Pizza but another arrest was making between $1,000 and $1,500 a day. So, what that turns into if you extrapolate that, about $400,000 a year for just one dude in a van and that attracts the wrong type of people."
Buffalo Biodiesel services about 18,000 locations in 12 states. Majumdar told us that in the last year and a half-two years, there have been 15,000-20,000 break-ins.
Here's our entire interview with Sumit Majumdar from Buffalo Biodiesel: